Stefan, the other victim of killer who is still free

5 February 2003
Manchester Evening News
Nicola Dowling

MILD-mannered Stefan Kiszko is a victim who will never see the killer of Lesley Molseed brought to justice. He died in December 1993, less than two years after his release from prison when scientific evidence proved he was not the man who attacked her. He was just 42.

Mr Kiszko had admitted the crime when he was interviewed without a lawyer in the 1970s, but later retracted it and maintained his innocence from his prison cell.

But in 1992, the appeal courts quashed his conviction after learning he was infertile so would not have been able to leave the evidence found on the schoolgirl's clothing.

Detectives next shifted their attention to Raymond Hewlett, a former Scots Guardsman, trawlerman, and fairground worker who had lived in Todmorden when Lesley was killed.

Police had interviewed him about Lesley's murder in 1975 because his van met the description of one seen near where Lesley went missing, but he provided an alibi saying he had been out walking with his 15-year-old lover and said he had got rid of the van.

But police re-examining the case in later years discovered that he knew of the Molseed family and had also lied about getting rid of his van and the time of day he had met his teenage girlfriend. They also found that he had gone on to commit a number of offences against young girls in later years.

In one attack prior to Lesley's disappearance, he subdued a neighbour's 12-year-old child with paint thinners before having sex with her in his car on the moors.

In another attack in 1978, he forced a 14-year-old girl to undress at gunpoint in her bedroom. He let her go when she said friends were on their way around to the house.

Then in 1988, he kidnapped a 14-year-old girl on a paper round at knifepoint in Northwich, Cheshire, drove her to a quarry and indecently assaulted her.

Hewlett was re-interviewed in 1992 when he protested his innocence, but police thought they were on to the right man when an inmate who had been in a prison hospital wing with him said he had confessed to a killing.

Police were hoping to compare a sample of evidence from Hewlett with that found on Lesley's clothing, but the five slides containing the evidence they had found at the scene had been lost.

When police submitted a file of largely-circumstantial evidence against Hewlett to the Crown Prosecution Service, it was decided the case was not strong enough to proceed.

Police have been unable to find Hewlett since, despite four years of trying to track him down. There have been various sightings of him during this time, in Ireland and Europe. Police today said they still wanted to talk to him despite the fact that the newly-produced DNA evidence effectively clears him of the murder.

When asked if Hewlett could have been acting with or helping the killer, detectives said they would have no way of "assessing whether there was any link" until they found out to whom the DNA belonged.

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